4 ways to increase sales

How to increase sales

Four practical ways to boost ecommerce sales, build a simpler shopper journey and reduce abandoned carts.

At a glance

Stop shoppers leaving your online store before making a purchase by:

  • Understanding their preferences when shopping online.
  • Giving them options for making a payment.
  • Allowing them to checkout with a single click.
  • Personalising your messaging.

Ecommerce is bigger than ever. According to the NZ Post eCommerce Market Sentiments Report, six in 10 online shoppers felt they spent more time online in 2021 than the previous year. 

And almost two third of shoppers said their main reason for spending more online was due to convenience. We’re talking about the convenience of shopping from home or the office, the ease with which goods arrive at the front door, the freedom to make a purchase in between the school drop-off and catching the train to work. 

One barrier to ecommerce success: abandoned carts, or when potential customers add items to an online cart without making a purchase. Data from CRM company Salesforce shows that the cart abandonment rate in Australia and Zealand sits at 82 per cent for shoppers using a computer, a figure that jumps to 87 per cent for mobile shoppers – the same as it was in the second quarter of 2021. 

This data represents a strong opportunity for ecommerce businesses to convert a large proportion of customers who are part-way through the shopper journey. And with 30 per cent of retailers flagging an intention to improve consumer experience in 2022, there’s never been a more worthwhile time to capitalise upon ecommerce strategies and gain a competitive edge. 

Mark’s beauty salon business

Let’s imagine a small business owner named Mark, who owns a beauty salon in Christchurch which he set up a few years before the pandemic. 

Although Mark has always had an ecommerce section on his website running in the background, which he uses to sell skincare products, treatment packages and so on, most of his revenue has come from in-person interactions. Plus, the customers who did use the online shop often ended up leaving before making a sale due to a clunky website design and a lack of clarity around the payment options. 

Now, having heard first-hand from customers how many of them are turning to online and noticing an overall dip in sales from in-person interactions, Mark decides to bolster the ecommerce side of his business and entice more customers to follow through with their purchases. But, seeing the abundance of digital tools at his disposal, he isn’t sure where to start. 

Here’s how Mark could adapt to changing shopper preferences, pivot to ecommerce and reduce the rate of cart abandonment.

1. Understand your customers

First, match your approach to consumers with what they’re looking for in a seller. It’s up to Mark to identify who his audience is online, because it might not be the same as those who walk through the door of his Christchurch salon. 

Speaking at a recent webinar discussion organised by Prospa in partnership with BusinessDesk, marketing expert Mike Hutcheson said that with the proliferation of different media channels and platforms, it’s even more important to figure out customer personas. According to Mike, converting your target audience is made easier when you understand the desires and intentions of that audience. 

In Mark’s case, that would mean identifying the age, gender, entertainment preferences and so on of his consumer base, before targeting those customers through ecommerce tools.

2. Provide multiple payment options

Giving shoppers the option to choose their preferred payment method could help entice them to follow through with a sale – and not be discouraged at needing to go hunting for a rarely-used credit card. 

At Mark’s beauty salon business, he could consider offering: 

  • Credit and debit cards 
  • PayPal 
  • Buy now, pay later (BNPL) options such as Laybuy, Afterpay and Zip 
  • Mobile wallets such as Google and Apple 
  • Bank transfer options such as POLi 

According to the NZ Post report, 12 per cent of retailers say the growth of BNPL options will be the change that impacts them the most in 2022, making it a must-have consideration for ecommerce businesses.

3. Implement one-click checkout

Making it quick and easy to buy is essential, and the ultimate goal is one-click checkout – such as Amazon’s game-changing ‘buy now ordering’. 

A good stepping stone for those looking to ditch the multi-step traditional checkout process is reducing the number of clicks. One click between product and checkout pages reduces click fatigue and creates fewer places for shoppers to drop off. 

Prepopulate previously captured information (such as predefined address details and credit card numbers, with careful data management). An ecommerce platform such as Shopify can simplify this.

4. Personalise your messaging

Realising the benefits of a personalised approach to his customers, Mark could also send personalised emails and ads targeting customers who left items in their cart. His abandoned cart emails could be automated with the right technology tools, and should: 

  • Highlight the benefits of the products left in the cart. 
  • Showcase positive product ratings or reviews. 
  • Make it easy to buy with fewer clicks. 
  • Sweeten the deal with free shipping or a discount code. 
  • Offer support in case there was a difficulty during checkout. 

By getting these strategies right, Mark and other real-life small business owners would be on track to boost their ecommerce strategy, encourage customers to stick around for longer online, and limit the number of abandoned carts. 

If Mark needed a hand funding these changes, he’d talk to one of our small business lending specialists about how a Prospa Line of Credit could provide the fast, flexible, ongoing access to funds that would help set him up for ecommerce success.

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